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Full text of "Security for farmers : your stake in farm marketing"

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If 'oa* Stake, in 
Qatm Ma>Jtetma 

Qasim psuceA, 

Farmers grow crops, or produce live- 
stock, to sell. Prices are as important to 
farmers as wages to city workers. If a 
I- farmer gets good prices, it means that his 
- family can live well, his children can be 
well educated, and he can buy more labor- 
saving equipment for the farm and home. 

cMaiv pAic&L tUed to Le 4et 

Prices were supposed to be set by supply and demand, 
farmers learned that, when they competed with each other for 
an unknown market, they didn't know what, or how much of 
each product, to grow. Each farmer had to guess or trust to 
luck when he planted a crop or raised a litter of pigs. Thev 
also learned that an individual farmer could not bargain with 
the big companies which bought, processed, or resold his 
products. He had to take whatever they were willing to pay. 

<So Jatmetd o^CfOni^ed 

Farmers' organizations gained strength during the depression 
and expanded during the war and since. Provincial laws were 
passed to help the farmers' organizations to bargain with pro- 
cessors and distributors. Then farmers found that even with 
organization they were not strong enough to control the market- 
ing of their products. They now demand Dominion marketing 
legislation giving them the power to market their own products 
under marketing boards. 

*lke wga, tautjJU an idea 

It's remarkable what we learn during a war. The government 
and the people of Canada thought it would be a good idea to 
supply Britain with food on a contract basis. For the first time 

farmers supplied a known market at a known price for a known 
period of time. Because farm prices and costs were held stable, 
Canadian farmers produced as never before. They wanted to 
help the war effort, and they could do it because they knew there 
would be a sure market. Ever since, farmers have favored 
planning in the marketing of their products. 

But uJtat luU happened? 

Britain should be our best long-term market. She needs our 
food now and will need it in years to come. But Britain is trying 
to balance her national budget and as yet is short of dollars. 
Our food contracts are growing less and we 
are in danger of losing the British market. 
Under the circumstances more Canadian 
farmers are looking to the U.S. market. At 
present the U.S. market is inflated by pros- 
perity, but when conditions go back to normal 
our farm products will receive scant welcome 

WUcU iUuld we do? 

While we should export certain farm 
products (such as beef) to the United States, 
while we can, we should also remember that 
our future permanent market is in Britain 
and other food-hungry countries. The only 
way to hold the British market is to supply 
it now. Therefore we should give adequate 
credits to Britain so that contracts can be 
made on a long-term basis at prices 
which encourage production on Cana- 
dian farms. The British market can 
be the basis for a program of farm 
security-the U.S. market cannot. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization is the international 
organization that is seeking to distribute food surpluses from 
those countries which produce more than they need to those 
countries which can't produce enough to feed their people. 
There are many obstacles in international trading which make 
this difficult. If Canadian farmers are to have long-term pros- 
perity, these obstacles must be cleared away. 

To give farmers more direct control in marketing their products 
and provide more stable farm prices a Canadian government 

1. Help to develop co-ops, commodity groups, and other farm 
organizations for orderly marketing. 

2. Pass a National Marketing Act to set up marketing boards for 
all farm products which are exported. 

3. Work for planned world marketing based on long-term 

4. Provide a system of guaranteed or forward prices. Minimum 

E rices should be established well ahead of the planting or 
reeding season to enable farmers to plan their production in 
advance without having to worry about market fluctuations. 

5. Eliminate speculation in the marketing of foods, e.g., close 
the Winnipeg grain exchange. 

6. Adopt the "ever normal granary" principle. The federal 
government should finance the storage of sufficient feed and 
seed grains to ensure a continuous supply. It should construct 
storage facilities itself and assist provincial and local govern- 
ments as well as farmers to build them in all appropriate areas. 

This program for marketing Canadian farm products was adopted by the 
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation at its national and provincial 
conventions in 1948, and is part of its farm program. 

Published by the Ontario CCF Farm Committee, 565 Jarvis Street, Toronto.